Can Wearing Makeup Affect Your Eye Health?

Can Wearing Makeup Affect Your Eye Health?
Posted on 09/23/2020

When it comes to makeup the main goal of wearing it, more often than not, is to look our best. Occasionally makeup is used to create some scary and unsavory looks, but no one wants to look like that because of an actual infection, allergy, or injury. It’s easier than you probably think to run into these sorts of issues when using your makeup. At Country Hills Eye Center we want to share a few things to consider when applying makeup, particularly around your eyes. 

Avoid Infection

As ophthalmologists, we’ve seen our fair share of bad infections. You may be surprised at how often an infection has been brought on by using past date, old, or compromised makeup products. Cosmetics all come with a recommended timeframe for them to be used within and then discarded once that time has been reached. If you choose to use products past their recommended time you run the risk of them growing and harboring bacteria and fungi (yuck!) which can not only cause an eye infection but also may make your skin breakout. 

We recommend that once you open the product to use for the first time write the date on it with a permanent marker. This will make it easier to know when the recommended timeframe has been reached and it’s time to dispose of it. The FDA also recommends that cosmetic products be kept in temperatures below 85º Fahrenheit to help prevent the preservatives within the products from deteriorating too quickly. 

Another aspect of preventing infection is to not share your cosmetics. We know it can be tempting to share among friends and try all the newest products available in makeup stores; however, doing this makes contracting conjunctivitis (commonly referred to as “Pink Eye”), the most common eye infection spread through makeup, much more likely. 

Other things to consider when wanting to avoid infection is to regularly clean your makeup brushes, sponges, and applicators. Some applicators may just be better to dispose of if they cannot dry thoroughly to avoid bacteria or fungi growing in them. If you do contract an infection we also recommend discarding any products that you used around the time you began showing symptoms to help avoid reinfecting your eye.

Be Aware of Allergies

Allergies, no matter the form they come in, are annoying and can cause frustration and discomfort. When introducing new makeup products you may develop or discover a new allergic reaction to something in that product. Common allergy culprits include makeup preservatives, nickel, iron oxide, as well as any added fragrances. Some of our patients have been surprised to develop an allergy when the product was advertising that it’s hypo-allergenic; even hypo-allergenic products can still cause a reaction. 

If you have an allergic reaction be sure to note the reaction and the product that caused it (we recommend you try new products one at a time). You may be able to find out what ingredient caused the reaction by comparing it to others you’ve used.

Prevent Injury

Makeup can cause an eye injury in multiple ways. To help prevent these all too common injuries, such as corneal abrasion, here are a few recommendations: 

  • Avoid applying makeup to the inside of your eye, like eyeliner on the inner lower lash line, and only put it on the distal, or outer lash area. 
  • Never apply makeup in a moving vehicle, especially if you’re the one operating it. Makeup should be put on with a steady hand to avoid accidentally poking your eye or an even worse injury. 
  • We recommend you insert your soft contacts prior to beginning your makeup application to help avoid makeup particles and oil that may linger on your hands after application. 
  • Everyone loves a little sparkle, except when it gets into your eye. When using metallic or glittery makeup products be sure they don’t get into your eye, especially if you’re wearing contacts as particles may get under them and can cause corneal abrasions. 
  • Be sure to wash your face prior to bed. Depending on the type of makeup you wear you may need to use soapy water or makeup remover to effectively remove your makeup. Removing your makeup helps ensure your lashes don’t break off into your eyes and none of your makeup has the opportunity to move into your eyes or clog your tear ducts. 

We're Here to Help

Country Hills Eye Center is here for all your Ogden, Utah ophthalmology needs. Whether you run into any of these makeup related issues or have any eye infections, allergic reactions, or acquire an injury we’re happy to help resolve any ophthalmology problems. Contact Country Hills Eye Center, a premier Ogden, Utah eye doctor today. 

Thank you for trusting us with your vision care.